478 Main Street SSA Crane Lift
At the end of 2020, Allied was contracted by LeChase Construction Services to perform the mechanical renovation of the 2nd floor of the old Hens & Kelly Department Store building at 478 Main Street in Downtown Buffalo. This 6 story building, owned by Ellicott Development, will be the new home of the Buffalo office of the Social Security Administration on the second floor. The SSA is leasing 17,000 square feet on the second floor that will be newly renovated commercial office space.
The mechanical scope of this project includes installing 12 new split systems, a 10,330 lb make-up air unit, exhaust fans and other air devices, along with new ductwork and piping. Yes, you read that right – a 10,330 lb make-up air unit! This unit, manufactured by Greenheck and supplied to us by H&V Equipment, will be serving the whole 2nd floor, helping the split systems operate more efficiently.
How does this make-up air unit work, you ask? This particular Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) unit uses existing building exhaust air and outdoor air to modify the indoor air temperature so that the split systems can then condition the air to reach setpoints. For example, if you’re pulling in 30ºF outdoor air, without the make-up air unit the furnace will have to work long and hard to heat that space up to reach the 68ºF setpoint. The make-up air unit will use already conditioned exhaust air from the space to heat that 30ºF air up to closer to 50ºF, which is much easier to condition to reach the 68ºF setpoint for the space. The same goes for hot 90ºF air in the summer – the make-up air unit will cool that outdoor air using conditioned exhaust air from the space, allowing the 68ºF setpoint to be reached and maintained much easier.
Lifting a 10,330 lb unit onto a roof in the middle of Downtown Buffalo was no easy feat. We had to close down a block of West Mohawk Street between Main and Pearl Streets to allow for the crane setup, unit delivery, and of course the actual lift. Clark Rigging was contracted by Allied Mechanical to perform the unit lift. They brought a large hydraulic crane; this wasn’t just any crane, as it had to be able to lift and move with a span of 150 ft.
The lift itself was pretty amazing. The communication between one crane operator and one crane signal person was incredible. The unit went straight up, slowly, with the signal person on the ground, guiding the operator up. Once the crane was above roof level, the signal person went up to the roof, and guided the operator in blind! It was, again, astonishing.
By the end of the lift, and I think all of us were speechless. To have a piece of equipment that large be lifted and set on a roof directly on top of it’s curb, so precisely, was nothing short of extraordinary. Allied Mechanical’s team of installers was there to guide and set the unit perfectly on it’s roof curb so that all the connections could be made, leaving a fully functional unit (once power is run and start-up is completed). The whole lift only took a couple of hours, the crane was out of there that day. The unit was placed, and work continues at 478 Main Street.